Planet Nine: The Hubble Space Telescope searches for clues to the mysterious planet

Planet Nine: The Hubble Space Telescope searches for clues to the mysterious planet

The 11-Jupiter-Mass Exoplanet HD 106906b, shown in this artist’s chart, occupies a potential orbit around a binary star 336 light-years away. NASA, ESA and M. Cornmeaser (ESA / Hubble)

Some scientists have long believed that there may be a ninth planet or “Planet Nine” orbiting the Sun from the edge of the solar system (no, it is not Pluto). An exoplanet’s new observation on the distant star system provides clues to help us verify that hypothesis.

According to a study published in Astronomy Magazine Thursday, the Hubble Space Telescope A giant exoplanet or planet discovered outside the solar system, orbiting a binary star system at a distance of 336 light years, may be similar to Planet Nine if it had.

The mysterious planet named HD106906b is 11 times the mass of Jupiter and its two host stars are 67 billion miles away or 730 times the distance from Earth to the Sun. From that distance, it would be 15,000 Earth years exoplanet to complete an orbit around a pair of stars.

Scientists have known that HD106906b has been around since 2013, when Magellan telescopes were discovered at the Los Campanos Laboratory in Chile. But with recent observations, researchers have been able to determine its orbit because the Hubble Space Telescope provided accurate measurements of the planet’s motions over a period of 14 years.

Scientists say the binary star system is only 15 million years old, and is surrounded by a dusty disk of remnants created by the formation of central stars and orbiting planets. Astronomers have been studying this system for 15 years because they believe that planets could form on this disk.

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Beyond Pluto in the Solar System there is a similar dusty disk called the Khyber belt. Astronomers have observed strange celestial bodies and dwarf planets from this area. Some believe that the cluster and some of its unusual movements are about 10 times the size of Earth and move in a strange orbit by a nearby hidden planet.

“Although Planet Nine has not yet been discovered, the planet’s orbit can be predicted based on its effects on various objects in the outer solar system,” said Robert de Rosa, co – author and European astronomer at the Southern Laboratory in Chile, in a statement. “This prediction of Planet Nine’s orbit is similar to what we see with HD 106906b.”

Researchers say the HD106906b was born close to its host stars and was kicked by the gravitational pull of the twin stars. But if another star had passed, it would have kept the Exoplanet in the system, rather than wandering.

A similar process may have occurred on Planet Nine, where it formed near other planets in the early years of the solar system and was struck by Jupiter’s massive gravitational pull. Then the gravitational force of the passing star pushed it back into an orbit in the solar system.

“We are slowly amassing the evidence needed to understand the diversity of alien planets, and how it relates to the chaotic features of our own solar system,” said Paul Kalas, co-author of another study at Berkeley, an astronomy professor at the University of California.

The Hubble Space Telescope detects clues to 'Planet Nine' from a distant exoplanet

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Seth Sale

About the Author: Seth Sale

Seth Sale is an all-around geek who loves learning new stuff every day. With a background in Journalism and a passion for web-based technologies and Gadgets, she focuses on writing about on Hot Topics, Web Trends, Smartphones, and Tablets.

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